Celebrating true African beauty

Don't throw beans skin away

There are certain parts of raw foods that we throw away because we deem them unappealing unfortunately outer layers of foods like skins (or peels), rinds, stems and certain parts of leaves are edible and even contain more useful nutrients than the rest of the food that we eat.

Consider beans (cowpea) in Nigeria, we make bean cakes (called akara) and beans pudding (called moin-moin) by dehulling the soft, film membrane or coating that surrounds the pud by soaking the beans in water and rubbing them together. Once the skin is removed, what you have left is pale white beans that is then ground to paste and fried as in the case of akara or boiled as in moin-moin.

Unfortunately, by dehulling, we are depriving the beans of its goodies because the skin of beans contain anti-oxidants that fight diseases; they also contain some B complex and good dietary fiber that helps to cleanse the colon. The skin of beans also aids digestion as it fights constipation.

In Nigeria, folks argue that making bean cake or bean pudding with the skin on does not look attractive but after much experimenting, I found the solution.


1. Only use Honey beans also known as Oloyin because the skin of honey beans is pale brown and very thin, this is why it is the hardest bean skin to peel but it is the sweetest kind of beans ever. After washing the beans, soak it in water over night in your refrigerator and by morning, it will be soft enough to blend in your blender.

Honey beans, oloyin
Soaked honey beans

You can see that the now soft honey beans doesn’t look too brown like other kinds of brown beans. By soaking over night, it makes it easy to grind at home.

Beans paste, beans paste with skin
Beans paste for akara & moin-moin

As you can see, the beans paste does not look coarse or dark even though the beans was ground with the skin or peel on.

Akara, bean cake
Finished product: akara (bean cake)

The finished product is fine looking, great tasting nutritious bean cake (akara ). By cooking akara with the skin, one is not just benefiting from the protein-rich beans alone but also the fiber- rich skin as well.

Please, do not discard skins, peels, rinds or stems of fruits and vegetables. They are all full of nutritional goodness.


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